I hate the extra week before the Super Bowl.
One moment everything is happening, it's all action and excitement, and then a giant H-bomb of confetti goes off, and the whole slate is wiped clean, reset. The only thing I can do about it is wait. Waiting drives you crazy. When the AFC Championship game ended, I was pumped. It was as excellent a penultimate chapter as could be hoped for. Now I'm waiting for the final episode of the 2010 post-season, and all I can do is hope that the ending doesn't suck, somehow invalidating everything that came before it.
I feel like I'm trying to take in two divergant realities. In the first, the quest is successful and everything goes back to normal. The hero is safe and sound (though still battling father issues). Old favorites who should have died a long time ago are inexplicably still around (Del Rio, cough).
But if they should lose on Sunday night...I don't even want to think about it. Everyone will wake up disoriented and bloody, not sure where they are or what they are supposed to do next. It will feel like all that is good and right and pure is dead. Oh sure, there's will be hope whispering from the grave not to give up. Peyton will dust himself off and keep plugging away in his efforts to save everyone, but most of all himself. I've seen enough of the previous episodes to maintain some flicker of faith that by the end of it all, I'll get a few more thrills and be satisfied, but I can't help being nervous about the whole thing. There isn't that much time left. What if all the loose ends aren't tied up? What if I never get my happy ending? What if the whole thing just sucks until it's done?
I shouldn't be so uneasy, after all, I've seen enough to know that on the island that is the NFL, no one is dead until they are dead. One more comeback is always in the works. So what if one of the heros is crippled? You never can tell when he'll rise to his feet, miraculously healed.
This Super Bowl is driving me crazy, because it's hard to root against the Other team. Half the time they seem like they are on your side. Sure they are crazy dangerous and their offense is weird as crap, but after the way they treated the evil Patriots, should we really be so distrustful? Maybe they really are Saints, devotees to some ancient NFL religion sent to us to help our hero complete his arduous tasks?
The one trap we can't fall into is trying to read all the tea leaves and decipher every little clue to the ending. Whatever happens, it won't unfold like we think, and all the signs and arcane numbers will just lead us down the wrong path.
There's nothing we can do now but wait and watch, and pray that damn plane doesn't crash again.
Wait, what was I talking about?